Protected group policy proposed

Associate Director of Union Operations Joe Campo appealed to the Rensselaer Union Executive Board on Thursday, September 22, to approve the hiring of an additional member to the Union. With Summer Arch planned for this coming summer, Campo anticipates a great increase on the use of facilities, and therefore an added strain. A new staff member, a Facilities Assistant, would assist Senior Repairs Specialist Jed McElligot in maintaining the campus facilities as well as refurbishing them. An example of the Facilities Assistant’s duties would be overseeing the painting of facilities on a yearly basis. It was acknowledged that this Facilities Assistant position would not be the only addition in response to RPI transitioning from a two-semester campus to a full-year model. However, the E-Board agreed that it was a necessary start, and approved the hiring of this new staff member unanimously.

Joseph La Rocca ’17 presented to the E-Board on behalf of the Troy Consulting Club. La Rocca is the president of the club and came to the E-Board to have his club made affiliated with the Union. The Troy Consulting Club is a group of students primarily studying Computer Science and/or Business who work with businesses in the local community. Their main goal is to help businesses keep up with the transition more technology-driven services through building websites, creating databases, and helping keep track of products. They have recently worked with the local restaurant Ali Baba to develop their website, and plan to move on to Spill’n the Beans Coffeehouse & Bistro. La Rocca stressed that one does not need to major in Computer Science or Business and Management in order to get involved with the club. He assured the Board that any students who get involved will find themselves not only gaining practical experience, but will actively learn about businesses similar to the ones they may work with in the future. Impressed, the E-Board approved the Troy Consulting Club as a Union-recognized club.

The Policies Committee discussed the proposal of a new Protected Groups Policy. The Protected Groups Policy would allow a Union affiliated club to not divulge the identities of its members. The club officers would submit contact information which only members of the Union Administrative Staff and the E-Board would be privy to. The second allowance to protect groups which could be given is the ability to exclude other members of the Rensselaer community who do not identify as a member of that protected group. The proposed policy states that “this concession is…allowed to protect the identities of those in the club.” However, controversy over the ability to exclude other students from a Union affiliated club dissuaded the E-Board from approving the proposed change in policy. It was a common opinion that to have affiliated status as a club, a group should be all-inclusive. The proposed Protected Groups Policy was tabled to be further discussed at a later date. For those interested in getting involved in the Executive Board Policies Committee, meetings are Wednesdays at 7 pm in the Student Government Suite on the third floor of the Union.

Business Operations chairperson Rasika Ekhalikar ’18 reminded E-Board members to let their clubs know that there is space for storage in the Union’s basement. An application will be made available soon. In the meantime, contact your E-Board representative if you are interested.